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Sheryl Sandberg's Accidental Revolution

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Sheryl Sandberg's Accidental Revolution

How Sandberg’s grief became the catalyst for a new, emotionally honest management style at Facebook and beyond.


5 min read
5 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Being vulnerable at work doesn’t reveal weakness; it makes your business stronger.

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Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable
  • Eye Opening


Most people spend much of their lifetimes at work. Common attitudes insist you leave your personal struggles at home, but Facebook COO and Lean In author Sheryl Sandberg disagrees. When her husband died suddenly, she found that being open about her pain made her a better boss and Facebook a better workplace. Not only do emotions have a place at work, she argues, but you can leverage them for a better organization overall. Tune in for a reflective, heartbreaking essay by Backchannel’s Jessi Hempel that is practical at its core. getAbstract suggests this read to modern business managers who want to rethink the way they lead.


Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has earned fame with her polished brand of leadership, which merges her professional and personal lives. But when her husband died suddenly of a heart arrhythmia in May 2015, all Sandberg “wanted to do was survive.”

Professional relationships are more important than ever, but even as companies push flexibility and individuality, they still insist workers keep their personal lives at home. Sandberg broke her silence with a Facebook post at the end of sheloshim

About the Author

Jessi Hempel is Backchannel’s head of editorial. She writes about the business and culture behind technology.

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